When Levi was rushed to hospital for a suspected elbow fracture on the day we left for our holiday, the last thing we thought about was the cost of the ambulance ride.
The airport staff had asked us if we were covered by private health insurance or ambulance cover. Michele and I – who have been paying for private health cover but have never utilised ambulance cover before – kind of looked at each other and said ‘yes’.
Honestly, thinking back to that very moment, we were more concerned about Levi’s welfare and our disappointment of missing our flight than anything else.
I honestly forgot about the horrible hospital episode until I returned to Melbourne five weeks later. Our good friend had been collecting our mail and when I saw the envelope, a sudden dread descended upon me.
Levi’s ambulance ride costs $990.41.
Of course, my fear was unfounded as I rang my health care provider Medibank immediately and confirmed Levi’s ‘cab ride’ to the hospital was indeed covered.
A cheque was issued by Medibank and it arrived in my mail box a week later.
I shudder to think what it would have been had we not had ambulance cover.
One thing to note, for anyone reading this and are contemplating ambulance cover in Australia.
Be sure to read the T&C of the ambulance cover. I did a bit of reading and research and discovered, to my surprise, that a lot of people have been stung and left out of pocket with ambulance transportation.
With Medibank, the terms explicitly says ‘Medically necessary ambulance transportation’. I asked the Medibank staff what this means specifically and was advised:
- if the patient is transported from the accident location to the hospital as immediate medical attention is necessary, you’re covered.
- if the patient is transported from the hospital to another hospital as there is no one to transport the patient, you’re not covered.
- if the patient is transported from the hospital to home as there there is no one to transport the patient, you’re not covered.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that! Lots of pensioners or older folks who may not have any family around may be potentially stung by the high costs involved.
Be sure to read the T&C when you’re signing up for health cover in Australia! I didn’t read it thoroughly, but got lucky!